Lithuanian Saltibarsciai (Cold Beet Soup)

LAURA PROSTER — One Workplace

This recipe is very special to me – it is essentially summer in a soup. I’ll never forget my mom, grandmother, and aunt dishing it out on the hottest Lithuanian summers growing up. When we immigrated to the States, my mom continued the tradition, and it was our taste of home away from home. I still make it every summer (multiple times!) and have put my own take on it based on the flavor profiles I enjoy. That’s the fun part about this recipe, it was never written down for me, rather, my mom gave me a rough explanation of how to make it via telephone one hot summer day when I was off at college, the first summer I didn’t make it home after graduating high school. It was a wonderful nostalgia, connecting me back to home - and continues to do so to this day. This is meant to be a cold soup, and gets better as everything marinates, typically best eaten the next day.


Boil beets until tender and save the water they are boiled in, once cooked through, rinse under cold water and peel off the skin.

Boil potatoes until tender.

Hard boil eggs.

Finely chop beets, cucumber, green onion and dill.

Place in a large bowl and pour in the Kefir and juice of the whole lemon, add in 2 cups of the saved beet water.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Peel and quarter the hard-boiled eggs, these will be garnish for top of the soup.

Cut up the potatoes - you can also fry them in butter quickly, these are to have on the side with the soup. Top with salt and pepper and more dill.

PREP TIME: 30-45 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes


3 large beets

1 handful dill

1 handful green onion

32 ounces plain Kefir

1 lemon

1 cucumber

4 eggs

4 potatoes

Salt and pepper